Finding JOY Unspeakable

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

 I've been thinking alot about joy recently......how it's so easy to allow your circumstances dictate how you feel, and what you think.

How it's so easy to allow our joy to be dependant on where we are in life - what activities we're involved in, where we live, the friends we have (or don't have), what we are or hope to be - all of this can so easily creep in and take over as the official "joy thermometer". 


I'll be honest and say, this has been a real struggle for me in recent months.  It can seem almost.....natural for my circumstances to dictate how happy I am.


But you know, this kind of an attitude is just plain un-Biblical.  It's so wrong ~ because it's so untrue.  I know I'm not alone in having a tainted perspective like this sometimes....it's a lie that Satan loves to throw at everyone. 

"Once you get this or that....then you'll be happy."
"If you lived here or there.......then you'd be happy."
"If you looked like that........then you'd be happy."


This way of thinking just doesn't work.  Basing our joy on our circumstances is downright foolish, because our circumstances are constantly changing.  Life doesn't ever stay the same; people in our lives will come and go, jobs come and go, we move, we age, things change.   

That's why it's so vitally important to anchor ourselves to the One Who never changes....the One is always the same and will never leave us.  The One who knows me even better than I know myself. 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
Hebrews 13:8


Things don't last.  Things change.  And "things" don't satisfy the longing that was meant to be satisfied by Jesus.  It's so incredibly easy to get entangled with "stuff" - clothes, projects, money, appearance, what we're doing, (or what we wish we could be doing). 

But we must never lose sight of the fact that we were meant for something greater than what our flesh screams for.   We're meant to find fulfillment in Jesus - the ONLY One who can truly satisfy!  And friends, He does, I've experienced it.  I know Him, and the more I know Him the more I'm convinced that temporary pleasures are utterly worthless in comparison to a relationship with my Redeemer and Savior.



"Be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5b


God has done so much for me - when I think of what He's done in my life it just astounds me!  I've been so privileged......and yet, if everything was suddenly pulled out from under me, if I no longer had everything I hold dear, if suddenly all my comforts were gone - where would I be?  If the unthinkable happened, would I still be able to find joy?  It's so easy to have "propped up faith" - faith that stands as long as there's plenty of fun stuff and a good comfort zone that holds it up.  It's faith that does okay as long as it has everything we want tacked on to it.


But this isn't true faith - or true joy.  We find complete joy when we abandon all these temporary things for the pursuit of Christ.....it's when we let go of all these "things" that we start to really gain something that will satisfy.  Joy is no longer living for ourselves, but for Him Who died for us and rose again.  (2 Corinthians 5:15)


"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:11 - 13


Go after the things that really matter - don't get distracted!  No matter how "bad" your life may seem, no matter where you are, or what you wish you had, remember that Jesus is all that counts.  These things that seem so important to us now pale in comparison to what will count for eternity.

5 comments:

Cassie said...

Lovely post, Rachel. It's so true and encouraging.

The photographs are gorgeous.

I miss you!

Love,
Your friend,
Cassie

Lauren Nicole said...

He is always with us! Such a beautiful post, and exactly what I needed to read.

~Lauren

Leah said...

Amazing post, Rachel! Beautifully written. Lovely pictures.

What a great reminder...

Thank you!

Blessings,
Leah

Dad said...

WOW, for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Rachel, you have encouraged my soul with your post. God love you my dear daughter.

With great admiration,

Dad

Kayla said...

Rachel,

Thank you so much for this post, it is not only a wonderful reminder to me but once again, you've set a beautiful example for my daughters.

Love,
Mrs. Cameron

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

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